A surgeon has been suspended over allegations that he “branded” his initials onto a patient’s liver.
The letters were reportedly found by a colleague who was performing a routine operation on the unnamed patient.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that they were investigating the claims made against a surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
The surgeon has been suspended while an internal investigation is carried out.
In a statement, the Trust said: “Following an allegation of misconduct, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has suspended a surgeon while an internal investigation is complete.”
The news comes after concerns were raised by a report published by NHS England in mid-December which exposed mistakes made by its staff.
Errors which should never happen, or “never-events”, included patients being given the wrong blood type, and the wrong patient undergoing surgery.
148 “never-events” occurred between April and September 2013, with 69 of those involving objects, such surgical swabs, being left inside patients after surgery. 37 patients had surgery performed on the wrong part of their body, while the wrong implant or prosthesis was administered to 21 patients.
Robert Francis QC recommended the report be published as part of a call for greater transparency in the NHS in his report into the Mid Staffordshire scandal.
In every case, the patient suffered avoidable harm.
Dr Mike Durkin, NHS England's national director of patient safety, said regarding the report that while every patient was at risk of avoidable harm, there needed to be an honest debate about the risks inherent in healthcare.
"One of those risks – with the best will in the world and the best doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in the world – is that things can go wrong, and mistakes can be made," he said.
Additional reporting by Press Association